Ex-Militant Commander Found Dead In Srinagar Mosque

SRINAGAR - A former Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen chief, who was an accused in the Jamiat-e-Ahli Hadith leader Showkat Shah’s murder case, was found dead under mysterious circumstances inside a mosque here on Thursday, police officials said.

Abdul Gani Dar alias Abdullah Gazali, a resident of Russu Beerwah in Budgam district, was found dead inside the Jamiat-e-Ahli Hadith mosque at Maisuma in the city, the officials said. Dar was the chief of militant outfit Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen (TuM) in the 1990s.

A police spokesman said information about a murder of a person inside a mosque in the Maisuma area was received in the afternoon.

"Accordingly, senior police officers visited the crime spot and retrieved the body of an individual.

"The killed person was identified as Abdul Gani Dar alias Gani Gazali, aged about 80 years," the spokesman said.

The police officials said there were injury marks on the head of Dar.

Police reached the spot and are scanning the CCTV footage around the mosque to ascertain if Dar was murdered, they said.

Jamiat-e-Ahli Hadith chief Maulana Showkat Shah was killed in a blast outside the same mosque ahead of Friday prayers on April 8, 2011. Dar was a co-accused in the murder case and was currently on bail.

The spokesman said photography and video recording of the crime spot was carried out and an Forensic Scientific Lab (FSL) team was called for the examination of the scene of the crime.

"Detailed search of the premises was also carried out. Police is also examining the CCTV footage in the area," the spokesman said, adding a case has been registered in this regard.

"We assure community members that investigation in the matter will be fast tracked, in a professional and impartial manner," he said.

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